Today I am 4 weeks out from my da Vinci and it was a good day. Following surgery I have experienced the unrelenting flow into my guards pads and felt the sogginess of the wet noodle often as I tried to stay dry throughout each day. There has been some success as I have been able to squeeze sufficiently to make it to the bathroom and I still do that all the time that I am wearing pads...but I have never felt the complete dryness that occurred today since before my operation. The dryness today was caused by using a collection device called the AFEX system. It consists of tight boxer briefs, a cup receptacle and a 500 cc urine collection bag suspended at the bottom of the cup receptacle. The cup fits into a little pocket at the front of the briefs. I got up this morning, did my usual cleanup and donned the device and departed my home for my first venture outside the house since my operation. I was able to visit 4 doctors' offices and get prescriptions and drop off path reports, have breakfast in a nice restraurant, go to the military hospital pharmacy to fill a script and generally to enjoy the freedom of a dry underpinning over a several hour period...believe me it was wonderful. I was out most of the day. I did go to the restroom and drain the bag on two occasions and when I opened the drain at the bottom of the bag and dispensed with the urine in the toilet bowl I felt almost normal again. It is not my intention to endorse the afex system or any other system for folks in our situation except to say "it works for me." It is not for sleeping time as pads are a requirement then though I did get one of their overnight pads to try out. If anyone in similar situation wants to check further their URL is http://www.arcusmedical.com/afex_overview.htm
Incidentally I tried Alpha Dry system and found it to be totally uncomfortable and couldn't wear their device more than about a half hour at a time and would have to take it off for relief. Let me know if I can provide any more info to any interested party.
Age 75 at DX 76 on 9 May 08
DRE positive with nodule 15 Jan 08
PSA 3.8 18 Jan 08
Biopsy 11 Mar 08 Gleason 8 (4+4) on the right 3 out of 12 positive <5%. Gleason 7 (4+3) on the left 1 out of 11 positive <5%.
Bone scan and CT scan Negative 12 Mar 08
Robot Assisted da Vinci prostectomy with Dr Fagin in Austin scheduled for 30 April 08.
- - - - - - - -
da Vinci successfully completed by Dr Fagin as scheduled.
Gleason downgraded to 3+4=7
Tumors confined to the prostate.
Bilateral tumor on right side 5 of 10 levels and on left side tumor present in 9 of 10 levels.
Extraprostatic Extension Negative
Seminal Vesicle Invasion Negative
As far as it goes between you, me and the fence post I am cured. But I am required to keep an eye out for the PSA due toward the end of June.